Where the Men Are

On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – February 19, 2021

By columnist Thomas P Blake

       Where the Men Are

Today’s eNewsletter reminds me of two songs. The first is Connie Francis’ 1961 song, “Where the Boys Are,” (link at end of this eNewsletter) which was the theme song for a movie of the same name. The movie was about four coeds seeking love on spring break in Florida.  

At least twice a month for the 26 years I’ve been writing about dating, I’ve been asked “Where the men are?” and “Where do I meet senior men?” by women. If my math is correct, that would be approximately 624 times. And that’s a conservative number.

Sometimes, the question is stated differently. For example, this January, a woman wanted to know “where to meet a nice, decent man?” and another asked, “Where the senior single men are.”

My answer has always been that there is no place, of which I’m aware, where older single senior men go to hang out with the sole intention of meeting single women close to their age. Admittedly, there are some singles functions that single men attend, but the ratio is usually somewhere near four to five women to each man.

And then women say, “Some of those men aren’t potential mate-material.” Reasons cited: age, weight, still-married, broke, smoker, drinker, couch potato, kids living at home—the list can go on and on. So, in effect, a more realistic ratio is even greater, like six or seven to one, women to men. For women, those are pretty discouraging numbers.

However, one of our woman Champs has discovered a place where there are lots of older single unattached men. She emailed, “I live in California, but I bought a condo on the beach in Sarasota, Florida. I love it there!

“If it weren’t for my grandson living in California, I would move to Sarasota. Beautiful beaches, tons of museums, theaters, fantastic restaurants, hiking, biking, and water sports. It reminds me of a smaller, less-busy San Diego.

“Californians and East-coasters are moving to Sarasota in droves. A California couple rented, sight unseen, my house in Sarasota because they are building a custom home in Sarasota.”

Our Champ provided Sarasota population demographics: “41 percent married, 59 percent single, divorced or widowed; 48.7 percent men, 53.3 percent women. Where are you ever going to get those odds? The average male age is 46.2 and the female age is 52.4 (respective numbers higher in South Sarasota).

“I meet retired single men everywhere in Sarasota! Grocery store, beach, home-improvement stores, restaurants/ bars, walking, and living in my condo complex. It’s like a candy store for senior women!”

A candy store for senior women? Sarasota sounds too good to be true for senior women wanting to know where the eligible men are. But, Sarasota comes with some quirks, which our Champ explained:

“I returned from Florida yesterday and wanted to share some experiences that might make you laugh. In Sarasota, I made an appointment with my painter, Oscar (not his true name), a mid-30-year-old, to repaint my window sills after having hurricane windows installed. I employed him three times previously for various paint jobs. 

“For some odd reason, this young man, after viewing the window sills and slider frames, decided to hug me and kiss me on the lips. I was so shocked I pushed him away and said “Oscar! I am old enough to be your grandmother! Please don’t do that!”

Tom’s comment: (Not to mention the danger during the pandemic).

“He left, looking chagrinned. Oscar returned and completed the paint job appearing crestfallen and quiet. He only charged me $250 for about six hours of work and said it was a ‘special discount’ just for me. I wonder what he would have charged if I had let him kiss me? LOL!

“The next day, I met with a photographer (mid-70s) to take photos of my condo for renting purposes. His name was the same as my ex-husband’s name so we joked about the coincidence. He is a widower who lost his wife to cancer after 52 years of marriage. He asked me to go on a date. 

“He has had no luck with internet dating sites. He was a very nice man but I didn’t feel any chemistry. He was quite overweight. I told him I was leaving for CA in a few days so dating was probably not in our future. He still insisted I call him when I return to Florida. Maybe he will have lost some weight by then?

“Soooo…for all those women looking for a man, Sarasota is just teeming with single men of all ages looking for women. At least that has been my experience. BTW, my girlfriend, her husband, and I went out to happy hour one evening and another evening went out to dinner, then dancing.  So enjoyable to do some ‘normal’ activities during this pandemic.”

The second song our Champ’s story reminds me of is the Eagles’ “Lyin’ Eyes,” because of this line:

                                “Every form of refuge has its price.”

Sarasota sounds like a great place to take refuge for senior single women, but, at a price: be prepared to be kissed by your 40-year-younger painter. Oh, and then there’s the cost of moving there.

The link to the Eagles’ song Lyin’ Eyes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PTEqZURh4o

The link to Connie Francis singing “Where the Boys Are.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqgl0VRJW0E

   ####

Now, with signs that the pandemic is easing, face-to-face dating will become more prevalent. Let’s hear what has changed in senior dating. Send me your questions and experiences to share with our Champs.

Also, some of you have asked why some weeks you are emailed two copies of the eNewsletter. The reason: If by Sunday, you haven’t opened Friday’s eNewsletter, I resend a copy because some people have told me that they inadvertently deleted the first one and want a second one sent. By sending a Sunday copy,only to people who didn’t open,  it saves me from sending a bunch of individual emails. 

Author: tpblake

Tom Blake is a newspaper columnist in south Orange County, California. He has published four books. His primary topic is finding love after 50 and beyond, sometimes far beyond, for people 80 and older as well. He also blogs about travel at TravelAfter55.com.

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